Last week on College for Christians, we focused on the first word in our title and surveyed the wide array of thousands of American postsecondary institutions enrolling millions of students. This week, we put the pieces of our title together and look at the variety of ways that American Christians have approached higher education.
That does include the historical and contemporary role of religion in public universities — and why it can be especially important for Christians in those institutions to find a religious community beyond campus. But we were most interested in asking how Catholic, mainline Protestant, and evangelical Christians have developed their own approaches to education in private colleges and universities. (We didn’t spend much time on seminaries, since our primary audience here is future undergraduates and their families.)
While we believe strongly in the mission and educational philosophy of Christian colleges like Bethel — where all members of the community share a faith that they seek to integrate throughout the curriculum (and co-curriculum), we also asked hard questions of that model and tried to do justice to other Christian (or “church-related”) approaches, which have their own strengths and may be better fits for some of our listeners.
Speaking of the word “fit,” that’ll be the subject of our next episode. Until then, happy listening and a joyous Easter to you all!